Adam has been a race fan since the first time he went through the tunnel under the Daytona International Speedway more than 30 years ago. He has had the privilege of traveling to races all across the state of Florida (as well as one race in Ohio), watching nearly everything with a motor compete for fame and glory, as well as participating in various racing schools to get the feel of what racecar drivers go through every week.
Adam spent several years covering motorsports for Examiner.com., where he had the opportunity to see the racing world from behind the scenes as well as the grandstands. He invites everyone to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus, and looks forward to sharing his enthusiasm for all things racing with the readers of SpeedwayDigest.com.
Be sure to tune in for his sports talk program, Thursday Night Thunder, where he discusses the latest in motorsports news with drivers, crew members, and fans. The show takes place (almost) every Thursday at 8:00 pm EST on the Speedway Digest Radio Network.
Contact Adam: Email
As one of the fastest road courses in the world, the Canadian Tire Motorsports park, located in Bowmanville, Ontario, has been known for decades as demanding both passion and commitment in order to succeed. The same can be said for its fans, some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable in the sport.
The 2.459-mile road course is cut out of the Canadian countryside north of Toronto and has always been about speed. While safety and amenity changes have kept the track current in the years since its founding, it continues to be a legacy of previous great eras of road racing. While not near the overall track length of Road America or the Circuit of the Americas at which the Tudor Championship will compete on later in the year, its fast corners and elevation changes generate some of the highest average speeds that the GT Le Mans (GTLM) cars, like Sellers' Porsche 911 RSR, will compete on. Each corner demands full commitment, there are no "take a breath and relax" turns among the 10 that make-up the layout of CTMP.
For Bryan Sellers, the July 13 Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at CTMP is a non-stop, high-energy blur in and out of the No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR he shares with Wolf Henzler (Germany).
"This is a racetrack that takes quite a bit of time to get back up to speed," added Sellers. "The difficulty of the circuit is high along with the level of commitment needed to be fast. You have to mentally prepare yourself for the speed and risk level of the circuit by running through all your past experiences. I think everything eventually matches mentally and physically, you just have to not be in a rush to get there."
The Sunday afternoon race is among the favorite stops on the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship circuit and seldom fails to provide the unexpected.
"It is rare to get a high-speed track that is also technical," stated Sellers. "However, CTMP is one of those tracks. You have to be fast and you also have to have good car placement. It is one of a kind! I am looking forward to get the Team Falken Tire Porsche onto the track and face the challenge."
Despite the danger that comes with the speed, or perhaps because of it, the track draws passion from the drivers and teams that compete here. It is considered among the most challenging tracks but that creates a desire to "beat" the circuit, one corner, one lap and one race at a time. Nothing is taken for granted.
"Turn two is probably the most famous corner, and for good reason," Sellers continued. "It is a corner like no other. It takes full commitment and demands all of your attention. It is extremely fast and line sensitive making it so difficult. You have to take a deep breath before turn two every time you approach it."
That level of commitment and passion carries over to the fan base as well. The two-hour, 45-minute multi-class race draws spectator support not only from all over Canada but it is a destination event for motorsport fans the world-over. The opportunity to witness, firsthand, drivers in the fastest GT machines in the world, battle the track is hard to turndown. The fans that come to the track recognize the skill and the commitment of the drivers and they pay that back with unequalled appreciation and knowledge of the sport. Saturday afternoon's autograph session and Sunday's fan grid walk will be among the most crowded of the season.
"The fans here have such a rich history in motorsports," Sellers concluded. "This is our only stop in Canada and they make sure they come out in full force to support the Tudor Championship. The fans are so great that I wish we could come more than once a year with the Falken Tire Porsche. They are educated on our sport and love coming to the race. As a driver, it's exciting to race in front of these Canadian fans and to try and impress them with a great race. That isn't easy. They have seen a lot of great racing over the years here."
The Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, July 13. The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will carry the race live on its network of stations. Sunday's race will also have live timing and scoring available at IMSA.com. Live streaming of the qualifying show is available on the IMSA web site beginning at 5:20 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 12.
Returning to their familiar home where they ran unbridled in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, thundering Can-Am cars will be a popular group this year at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Held August 14-17 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the event is a collection of 550 authentic and period-correct race cars from nearly every decade of motorsports.
It will be difficult to ignore the guttural rumble of 30-plus authentic Can-Am cars as they accelerate out of Turn 11 and down the straightaway to the start/finish bridge. These very same cars from the “anything goes” era of motorsports raced here in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s to enormous crowds watching from the hillsides.
The original Can-Am series attracted the world’s finest drivers. The Who’s Who of driving included Mark Donohue, George Follmer, Jim Hall, Phil Hill, Denny Hulme, Jacky Ickx, Vic Elford, Bruce McLaren and John Surtees, to name just a few.
The grid is dominated by McLarens, Shadows and Lolas. “The Can-Am group is a popular one for fans and participants alike as they represent the true definition of win at any cost,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “These cars retain their characteristic look and certainly sounds and they are a welcoming site in their spiritual home.”
The Can-Am group is one of 15 race groups featured at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. They will be on track in Group 3B, racing on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
Celebrating its 100th anniversary is Maserati, which is this year’s featured marque. Visitors will have the chance to visit the Maserati heritage display in the race paddock, exploring the company’s past, present and even future.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is one of the cornerstones of the renowned Monterey Classic Car Week and is the largest event held annually in the scenic coastal community. Visitors worldwide descend on the community to enjoy the historic cars in action, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the myriad of supporting activities that comprise the motoring week.
Advance general admission tickets to the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion are on sale beginning at $50 (Friday) and a three-day ticket at $130, which includes a complimentary souvenir magazine. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Hospitality packages begin at $200 per person.
For more information on the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion or to purchase tickets, visit MazdaRaceway.com or call 800-327-7322.
After trading the top spot in Nitro Funny Car numerous times throughout the weekend, Tim Nemeth capped off a wild weekend in the nitro-powered Funny Car category at the IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals with a thrilling victory over Tim Boychuk to lead the way at IHRA's biggest event of the season. Ike Maier (Top Fuel), Joe Delehay (Pro Mod), Damian Cownden (Nitro Bike), Shane Reykdal (Pro 6.90) and Dawn Perdue (Jet Dragster) also were winners at the IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals presented by Good Vibrations Motorsports and Parts Canada Sunday at Castrol Raceway.
Sunday's sportsman winners on the Summit Racing Equipment Pro-Am Tour presented by Amsoil were Cody Liwiski (Top Sportsman), Scott Hearn (Top Dragster), Mark Faul (Super Stock), Ed Matiejewski (Stock), Mike Shannon (Quick Rod), Dave Stobbe (Super Rod), Carey Borchuk (Hot Rod). The remaining sportsman winners included George LeBlanc (Box ET), Ray Peck (No Box ET), Jenna Michaud (Junior Master), Kassie Thomas (Junior Advanced) and Connor Scott (Junior Beginner).
Nemeth and Boychuk, who have combined to win the last five Rocky Mountain Nationals events in Nitro Funny Car, spent the majority of the weekend trading the fast lap for the weekend. Nemeth led the way after qualifying on Friday, but he conceded a great lap to Boychuk on Saturday to give the Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series regular the top qualifying spot. On Sunday, Nemeth saved the best for last and drove his way to his second consecutive Rocky Mountain Nationals victory.
"We were really excited about this event. We got here early, got setup and really focused on the possibility of back-to-back wins at one of our favorite tracks," Nemeth said. "We started the weekend off rough. We had a good first round of qualifying, but after that we started to struggle and we thought this might not be a back-to-back weekend after all. But last night, I got everyone together, we had a nice dinner and I told them to suck it up, put the bad behind us and go to work. We got up this morning and everything just came together."
From the No. 2 spot on the Amsoil Nitro Funny Car ladder, Nemeth, in the "Iceman" '77 Firebird, won a thriller over Boychuk with a 5.929-second lap at 238.05 mph. Boychuk, in the "Forever Forward" '77 Firebird, had a 6.190 at 205.19 in the runner-up effort.
"Tim and I are really good friends on and off the track, but it looks like there is a little bit of a rivalry developing between us," Nemeth said. "Friday we went out there thinking we are just going to repeat what we did last year and it didn't happen. We just held on to the top spot until Tim came back on Saturday with a number and we thought, wow, this is going to be a tall order. But we just stuck to our guns, stuck to our game plan and Sunday turned out to be our day."
Nemeth added a win over Jordan Pawlick earlier in the day and received a bye into the final in the non-points paying Canadian showcase.
Sunday's other big winner was Joe Delehay, who set both ends of the track record and bested a few personal bests on his way to the Ironman in Pro Modified. Driving a beautiful blue and silver '68 Camaro, Delehay qualified first and was the fastest driver all weekend on his way to his first win at the Rocky Mountain Nationals.
"We have been away from this race for three years and it was great to once again put on a show for these fans," Delehay said. "Tim McAmis built us a pretty good racecar. It goes right down the track every time, straight as an arrow, and has been really good to us as of late. We came here in August of last year and won the race. We went to Las Vegas and won the race. Now we come here and win again to make it three-in-a-row. That is not too bad."
With everyone on the property gunning for the weekend's fast qualifier, Delehay's final-round opponent, Garry Weslosky, got ahead of himself, going way red and allowing Delehay to make a victory pass of 6.086 at 238.72 for the win.Delehay, trying to put down the first five-second Pro Mod pass in Castrol Raceway history, flirted with the record all weekend long, coming as close as 6.001 Saturday evening. But on Sunday, Delehay shifted his focus from records to an Ironman as he weaved his way through Kerry Stone and Glen Kerunsky on his way to the win.
"We actually hadn't run this car since November. We put the car together, put a new blower on it, new gear ratio, new combination and started the weekend pretty safe in our setup, but we stepped it up as the weekend went along," Delehay said. "We were so close to that five-second mark. We thought we were there a couple of times, but we just came up short. Still, we set a few records and came away with the win and we are pretty happy about that."
IHRA's largest pro field in Edmonton was Pro 6.90 made up of the Rocky Mountain Nostalgia Funny Car group as Edmonton's own Shane Reykdal, piloting the "E-Town Hustler" '79 Omni, drove to his second win in the last three years at the Rocky Mountain Nationals. From the No. 7 position on the 16-car ladder, Reykdal went four rounds ending with a win over Ryan Hodgson.
Reykdal had a .025 light and drove a 6.982 at 197.62 in the final of the 6.90-index class as Hodgson broke-out by .003 at the line.
Reykdal added wins over Cal Tebb, Landon Goudreau and Troy Sitko on his way to his second Ironman in three years.
Damian Cownden, from Victoria, B.C., won the Drag Specialties Nitro Bike category, meeting up with Nate Gagnon, from Qualican Beach, B.C. in the final. Gagnon, who won IHRA's most recent race in Grand Bend,Ontario just two weeks ago, had the advantage on the starting line with a .109 to a .137, but lost it at the top end as Cowndon rode to a 6.699 at 212.43. Gagnon had to shut it off early.
Tottenham, Ontario native Ike Maier won his second consecutive IHRA Ironman in Top Fuel on Sunday, besting Indiana native Kyle Wurtzel in the final with a 4.988 at 279.73. Wurtzel's dragster lit up in a fiery explosion at the line, handing Maier the win.
Wrapping up pro eliminations in Edmonton was Jet Dragster as Dawn Perdue, in the Sport Aviation jet dragster, collected her second Ironman of the year over Marisha Falk. Perdue had a 6.008 at 262.74 in the final, while Falk launched before lighting the stage light, negating her run.
Mark Faul and Casey Plaizier led the way in the sportsman categories during the three-day weekend. Faul, from Tacoma, Wash., won Super Stock both Saturday and Sunday, while Plaizier, from Stony Plain, Alb., took home a pair of Ironman trophies on Saturday in Stock and Hot Rod.
Next up for the IHRA Nitro Jam Drag Racing Series is a trip to Cordova Dragway Park in Illinois for the IHRA Nitro Jam Summer Nationals July 18-19.
Showing the true power of German engineering, Audi Sport Abt’s Lucas di Grassi set the pace during the second official test for the all-electric FIA Formula E Championship at Donington Park with his best time in the afternoon session topping yesterday’s pace-setter Sebastien Buemi (e.dams-Renault).
Belgian racer Jerome d’Ambrosio, testing for China Racing, topped the morning timesheets with a 1:34.554s and already up on Buemi’s best time from day one. Times then began to tumble partway through the afternoon stint when the temporary chicane on the exit to the Old hairpin was removed after a number of drivers made contact with it.
That paved the way for di Grassi, testing with two cars due to an absent Daniel Abt on GP2 duties, to lay down a benchmark in the 1:31s which was never bettered.
“It was my first time driving the car with full power and I’m really pleased with the performance,” said di Grassi. “With Daniel [Abt] at Silverstone for GP2, I had the use of two cars so was able to do a lot of work in race mode. We had very little problems and I was very pleased with the way the Abt team worked, and I’m looking forward to getting in the car next week.”
Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld came away with the third best time whilst team-mate Stephane Sarrazin could only manage 13th spot. Scott Speed, testing for Andretti, looked sharp to finish fourth in front of Mahindra’s Bruno Senna and Spain’s Antonio Garcia - testing with China Racing. Nicolas Prost finished ahead of Virgin’s Sam Bird – completing the most laps of any driver with 56 – with d’Ambrosio and Jarno Trulli rounding out the top 10 before rain brought an early end to proceedings with 10 minutes left on the clock. Oriol Servia made his test debut for Dragon Racing alongside newly signed driver Mike Conway.
Reigning GP2 champion Fabio Leimer, taking over the duties for Antonio Felix da Costa at Amlin Aguri, ended the day 12th commenting: “It’s been interesting getting used to the car. It’s something quite different from what I’m used to. But we have been moving forward in a good way and everything is fine. I used race power and qualifying power – there’s a big, big difference between them and I think that will be something quite interesting for the driver.”
FIA Formula E Championship – Day 2, Donington Park – Test results (Combined times):
1. Lucas di Grassi, Audi Sport Abt, 1:31.973s
2. Sebastien Buemi, e.dams-Renault, 1:32.089s
3. Nick Heidfeld, Venturi, 1:32.373s
4. Scott Speed, Andretti Autosport, 1:32.632s
5. Bruno Senna, Mahindra Racing, 1:32.960s
6. Antonio Garcia, China Racing, 1:32.966s
7. Nicolas Prost, e.dams-Renault, 1:33.040s
8. Sam Bird, Virgin Racing, 1:33.072s
9. Jerome d’Ambrosio, China Racing, 1:33.178s
10. Jarno Trulli, Trulli, 1:33.299s
11. Franck Montagny, Andretti Autosport, 1:33.754s
12. Fabio Leimer, Amlin Aguri, 1:33.792s
13. Stephane Sarrazin, Venturi, 1:34.006s
14. Katherine Legge, Amlin Aguri, 1:34.071s
15. Michela Cerruti, Trulli, 1:36.064s
16. Jaime Alguersuari, Virgin Racing, 1:36.962s
17. Karun Chandhok, Mahindra Racing, 1:37.415s
18. Oriol Servia, Dragon Racing, 1:43.239s
19. Mike Conway, Dragon Racing, 1:44.698s
The test day also saw the announcement that pioneering electric car company Rimac Automobili is to supply the series with one of its exclusive fully-electric Concept_One supercars which will be used by the Race Director. The one-of-a-kind car, which can accelerate from 0-60mph in the same time as a Formula E single-seater, also took to the Donington track for a number of demonstration laps.
The next test days take place on July 9 and 10 at Donington Park with free access to fans, including a pitlane walk. For more information visit www.fiaformulae.com
On Thursday, July 3, race fans and the world in general listened to the sounds of near silence as E.dams-Renault’s Sebastien Buemi set the fastest time during today’s maiden official test for the new FIA Formula E Championship at Donington Park. The first of five public tests took place at the Leicestershire circuit in dry, bright conditions and saw all 10 teams and drivers use the full Donington Park GP circuit, modified to include an additional chicane at the exit to the Old Hairpin.
Being the first outing for many of the drivers, the day focused on getting to grips with the Spark-Renault SRT_01E cars with German driver Daniel Abt, driving for Audi Sport Abt, laying down the early benchmark for the morning session. The German, who ended the day eighth overall after missing the afternoon session due to other commitments, lapped in the low 1:37s, closely followed by Buemi and Andretti’s Franck Montagny.
“I’m more than happy to be honest," Sebastien Buemi said. "I didn’t have any problems with the car at all and that meant we were able to learn quite a lot about it. It’s always nice to be P1 so let’s hope it continues tomorrow.”
Times began to tumble in the afternoon session with Buemi once again on the pace, posting a 1:35.475s with under an hour to go and holding on to the top spot until the end of the day. Abt’s Lucas di Grassi finished over a half a second shy of the Swiss despite only running during the afternoon session with Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird a further three-tenths back in third. Mahindra Racing’s Bruno Senna ran well all day to finish fourth with Venturi’s new signing and ex-Le Mans driver Stephane Sarrazin rounding out the top-five during his first outing in a fully-electric single-seater.
Nicolas Prost (e.dams-Renault), son of four-time Formula One World Champion Alain, finished sixth to edge out Jarno Trulli with Virgin Racing’s Jaime Alguersuari and Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok completing the top-10.
The day also saw outings for several of the championship’s new signings including Amlin Aguri duo Katherine Legge and Antonio Felix da Costa, Venturi’s Nick Heidfeld, Trulli’s Michela Cerruti and Dragon Racing’s Mike Conway.
Former F1 racer Jerome d’Ambrosio and Spain’s Antonio Garcia tested for China Racing with Scott Speed making his test debut for Andretti – sharing the car with IndyCar legend and Formula E ambassador Gil de Ferran.
“Today’s first test has been a special occasion for everyone involved with the FIA Formula E Championship," added Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E. "This project has been a long time coming but to see all the cars and drivers taking part is a very proud moment and my thanks goes to all our investors, partners, teams and Formula E personnel for transforming the FIA’s dream into a reality.”
Day two of testing gets underway tomorrow at 9am with free access to fans, including a pitlane walk.
For more information visit www.fiaformulae.com
The lineup expanded today with the addition of two wild card entries for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round. AMA Pro Road Racing riders Americans Chris Ulrich and Larry Pegram have joined the starting grid to compete against the world’s best.
Pegram is coming off a good 2013 season, finishing sixth in the AMA Pro SuperBike standings with five top five finishes, including three podiums, while Ulrich finished 14th in AMA Pro SuperBike with a season-best finish of ninth at Daytona.
With half of the World Superbike season complete, the U.S. Round at Mazda Raceway is sure to see some hard fought race action as riders try to gain on the reigning World Champion and points leader, Tom Sykes. The British rider currently leads the Championship with 251 points, Sylvan Guintoli of France is second with 212 and his fellow countryman Loris Baz with 210. Englishman Jonathan Rea has 199 and Italian rider Marco Melandri has 179 to round out the top five.
New to World Superbike this season is the Team Hero EBR, the only all American team regularly competing in the series. Georgia natives Geoff May and Aaron Yates ride EBR 1190 RX motorcycles, which are manufactured by Erik Buell Racing in Wisconsin. It has been a learning experience for the team in its inaugural year, which has struggled to earn points thus far in the season.
Advance tickets for the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round are still available for sale and range from $20 for a Friday general admission ticket to $70 for a three-day ticket. VIP hospitality packages, paddock passes and camping spaces are also available. For information, call 800-327-7322 or visitwww.MazdaRaceway.com.
Circuit of the Americas (COTA), host of the upcoming 2014 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, has announced that it will be the official training partner for driver Simona De Silvestro. After recently becoming the first female racing driver in history to test a Formula 1 car on Ferrari's legendary Fiorano Circuit in northern Italy, Simona will continue her training at COTA in early August.
“We are thrilled to be a part of Simona’s journey to becoming the first full-time female driver in Formula One racing,” said COTA President and CEO Jason Dial. “What better place for her to continue to advance her training than at Circuit of The Americas, the North American home for world-class motorsports. In addition to being her official training partner, COTA is dedicated to building awareness around STEM education and sustainable practices- two things which are very important to Simona as well.”
COTA and De Silvestro both embrace and strongly support sustainability, advancing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and careers, and clean air technology. While driving in the IndyCar Series, De Silvestro served as an advocate for the Clean Air Energy national campaign.
“My racing career has evolved in America, so I can’t think of a better track to train at than Circuit of The Americas,” De Silvestro said. “The track is truly a world class facility and one of the best on the entire calendar. I can't wait to drive there.”
James Vance finished 15th with teammate Jon Miller in Round 6 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on June 28 at Watkins Glen International. Although he was able to improve upon his starting position of 22nd, he wasn't able to find the momentum needed to compete at the front of the Street Tuner (ST) class in his No. 74 ExpoSystems Honda Civic Si fielded by Compass360 Racing.
"The race was very frustrating," Vance said. "I tried to be as consistent as possible and move forward during my stint."
Both teammates fought to gain position when they received a pass-around under caution, a call from officials that allows a car to advance to the tail end of the field on a restart if the class leader was behind it at the time of the caution. The team reacted quickly and gained position during the pass-around. Later in the race, Miller served a drive-through penalty for a pit speed violation, halting any further progress.
"Jon did a great job despite receiving a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits," Vance continued. "That was probably the most frustrating part of our day, as we nailed the strategy and the got the drive-through, but then we got that penalty, which ultimately took us out of a possible top-10 finish and concluded with us finishing P15. From the get-go we were struggling, as nailing the setup for my teammate and I seemed a lot harder at WGI than any other track this year."
Brushing off the difficulties of the weekend, Vance looks ahead to Round 8 at his home track, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, only 45 miles from his home in the Toronto suburb of Stouffville. Racing on a familiar track where he has proven speed will shrink his to-do list for the weekend.
"Home races are always awesome," Vance said. "Having friends and family come out to support me as we travel to all the different destinations throughout the year is never easy. Having more people there is definitely a positive going into CTMP. Also, I love the track, and I have always been quick, which is comforting. And it also means I do not have to learn the track, which takes a lot of uncertainty out of the weekend."
The event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park - the only Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race of the year in Canada - also is big for Vance's sponsor ExpoSystems USA. The sponsor has created a state-of-the-art, unique pit setup for C360 Racing.
On-track action for Vance begins at 1:40 p.m. (ET) Thursday, July 10 with the first practice session of the weekend. Qualifying takes place at 2:40 p.m. Friday, July 11. The green flag drops at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, July 12 for Round 8 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. The race will be broadcast at 10 a.m. Sunday, July 20 on FOX Sports 1.
As the opening race of the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship season draws closer, more and more teams are starting to firm up their driver line-ups for the revolutionary new series.
On Wednesday, July 2, both Dragon Racing, the Los Angeles-based motorsports team, owned by media and publishing entrepreneur Jay Penske, and Amlin Aguri announced their pilots for the high tech electric wonder.
Dragon Racing introduced Mike Conway, an experienced street racer and multi-race winner in the IndyCar Series, and 2014 driver with TOYOTA for their LMP1 WEC program, as one of their drivers in the all-electric championship. Conway’s previous experience includes three seasons in GP2, and as a Formula 1 test driver for Honda Racing F1 Team.
“It is with great pleasure and excitement that I will be at the wheel of the Dragon Racing entry in the inaugural season of the FIA Formula E Championship,” said Mike Conway. “I have been very interested in Formula E since it was announced and I am proud to be involved with both Jay and Dragon Racing, in what I believe is breaking new ground in motorsports. I am very confident we can achieve great results during this first season.”
Dragon Racing first began in 2006 under the original banner of Luczo Dragon Racing founded by both Penske and Steve Luczo, Chairman and CEO of Seagate Technologies. In May of 2007, Dragon Racing made their debut at the Indianapolis 500 finishing an impressive fifth with Ryan Briscoe. Two years later they completed their first full IndyCar season claiming Rookie of the Year with Raphael Matos. Last year Dragon Racing fielded two cars in the IndyCar Series, with drivers Sebastian Saavedra and four-time Series champion Sébastien Bourdais.
Jay Penske, Owner of Dragon Racing, said: “I have always been impressed by his talents, smarts, and performance in the IndyCar Series, and we feel that the combination of his experience, tenacity, and driving skills will be a force this year in the FIA Formula E Championship.”
Also announced today, Amlin Aguri introduced Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa, who will join the team for its inaugural FIA Formula E Championship season. Felix da Costa will participate in Thursday’s first public test for the squad before linking up on Friday with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula 1 Team where he will continue as the team’s reserve driver at the British Grand Prix this weekend.
“I am delighted to compete in the Formula E inaugural season and I am proud to have been chosen by Amlin Aguri," Antonio Felix da Costa added. "I am thrilled by what I believe is the championship of the future. With Formula E we see history being made and I’m excited to be right at the heart of this new project. I have no doubt we’ll see this championship drive real innovation and advances in technology. What’s special about our team is the expertise from Amlin. They have core skills in analysing complex data and we’ll be using these skills to produce strategies that will help drivers like me win these races. That’s really important for this new format where the circuits are on city streets and the technology means new team skills are needed. I am confident Amlin Aguri will be out there at the front right from the start.”
The 22-year-old is no stranger to the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E car having driven for the outfit during a shakedown held in early June at the Donington Park Racing Circuit.
“It’s a pleasure for me to welcome Antonio into the new setup at Amlin Aguri," said Mark Preston, Team Principal. "Antonio has proven he’s prodigiously quick at all levels of motorsport, from testing in F1 to winning races in Formula 3. I’m confident the drivers we are assembling will make Team Amlin Aguri a serious podium threat and a force to be reckoned with.”
Felix da Costa's breakout season came in 2012 when he won the prestigious Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix from pole position. He also finished fourth overall in World Series by Renault after winning four races out of the six he entered in the nine round series.
He now becomes the second driver to join Amlin Aguri, following the arrival of Katherine Legge.
So far, the following drivers have been confirmed in the 2014-2015 FIA Formula E Championship:
Amlin Aguri Formula E Team: Antonio Felix da Costa // Katherine Legge
Andretti Autosport Formula E Team: Franck Montagny // TBC
Audi Sport Abt Formula E Team: Lucas di Grassi // Daniel Abt
China Racing Formula E Team: TBC // TBC
Dragon Racing Formula E Team: Mike Conway // TBC
e.dams-Renault Formula E Team: Sebastien Buemi // Nicolas Prost
Mahindra Racing Formula E Team: Bruno Senna // Karun Chandhok
Trulli Formula E Team: Jarno Trulli // Michela Cerruti
Venturi Formula E Team: Nick Heidfeld // Stephane Sarrazin
Virgin Racing Formula E Team: Sam Bird // Jaime Alguersuari
Expect more announcements in the coming days and weeks, as the teams prepare for the first event in the all-electric series which starts in Beijing on September 13 and races around the iconic ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic stadium.
Christina Nielsen persevered through the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen June 29 to gain nine positions in the GT Daytona class and claim a sixth-place finish with co-driver Kuba Giermaziak. From the 15th starting position, Nielsen and co-driver Giermaziak capitalized on their fellow competitors' errors to climb through the field.
Nielsen, 22, from Aarhus, Denmark, is competing in the Patrón North American Endurance Cup, which rewards the top-performing teams and drivers in the four longest races within the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
"I thought we had a good race, and my co-driver Kuba gained us several places in an awesome first stint," Nielsen said. "We kept a good pace through the entire race. I think it's always an accomplishment when you finish an endurance race. Six hours is a long distance, and we completed that without really going off track or making any major driving mistakes. It was nice to feel that we could keep up with the faster guys, as they weren't able to pull away as much from us. We had a few issues at Watkins Glen that cost us time, and I think we've got our eyes on those to fix for next time," she said. "I think we're heading in the right direction, and if we keep working like this we're going to be really strong in Petit Le Mans."
Nielsen also raced in her full-season series - the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama - at Watkins Glen, finishing fifth in Round 7 and seventh in Round 8.
"I felt like my performance in Porsche GT3 Cup USA this weekend was OK, but overall I felt like we were missing something," she said. "It is a difficult track, especially when you're fighting against drivers who have raced here before. I believe I probably had a bit to gain from a driving perspective, and I think we had a bit more to get out of the car, too. It's difficult to hit the setup every time, and sometimes you don't get it right."
Nielsen is sixth in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama championship standings, with 65 points after seven rounds of racing. She will return to her Porsche 911 race car July 10-13 during the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. Nielsen's next race appearance in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will be Oct. 4 in the season finale at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.